Covid19:58,000 Women,Girls Risk Losing Health Care Access

Deputy Director Operation and Advocacy at Marie Stopes Ghana, Patricia Antwi Boasiako has revealed that 58,000 women and girls risk losing health care access should the novel coronavirus pandemic persists till December 2020.

Ms Boasiako disclosing this last Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at a pre launch of the World Population Day celebration, said barring any failure of stallholders in the health economy to implement pragmatic ways to mitigate the overall effects of the coronavirus pandemic on both women and girls, the already marginalized group in society, while the disease lingers on to December, 2020 ,would lose health care access across the country.

According to her, despite the collaborated efforts by organizations such as Marie Stopes Ghana, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and other partners, the country continue to record high unmet need for family planning.

Quoting a research document by Guttmacher published in April,2020, shows that about 53% of all pregnancies in the Ghana are unintended.

She further said about 71% of all abortions done in the country are illegal.

She indicated that her outfit projected a total of 26,000 women and girls were likely not to get access to quality health care following the lockdown within just three months, but the projection has skyrocketed 58,000.

A matter she said was alarming and could pose a dire consequence for the nation should the stallholders fail to devise plausible ways to prioritize and mitigate the overall effects of covid-19 on both women and girls in other to safeguarding the health needs of the already marginalized group in the country.

She revealed that the most disturbing report from the Ghana Statistical Service’s survey on the Adolescent Reproductive Health indicators for 2017, shows that 32% of all 19 years olds in the country are already mothers.

Delivering her keynote address on the topic: Putting the brakes on covid-19: how to safeguard the health and rights of Women and Girls”, the Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr. Leticia A. Appiah noted with grave concern a maternal health survey which shows an increasing maternal mortality ratio of 310 deaths per every 100, 000 live births, that is, 12% per cent of death among women and girls which can be attributable to maternal cases.

In relation to what she termed unmet needs for family planning, she noted that almost one out of every three married woman who wishes to space up or limit child birth, does not use any family planning method leading to unintended and mistimed pregnancies .
This according to her, was not too good for a nation like Ghana as more than 50% of the population are females aged 10 to 24 some of whom , according to her have been abused and their human rights violated.

“Over 40% percent of women who are married or living with their partners have had a form of sexual violence with 30.1% representing various forms of sexual violence”, Ms. Boasiako indicated.

“On the average, women who marry before 18 record a_19% higher in the Northern and the Upper East Regions and lowest in the Greater Accra Region.

She called on all stakeholders to come on board to devise innovative ways to write the wrongs.

World Population Day celebration is an annual event which is observed on the 11 July to increase awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.

The general objective of the commemoration is to raise awareness on the three transformative goals of: Zero maternal deaths, Zero unmet need for family planning and Zero sexual and Gender_based violence and harmful practices. Awlesu

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